TRUE STORY: A contractor was owed $195,000. The work was not complete and the owner needed the certification of the contractor.
He gave proper notice (Doug drafted it for him) and stopped work before giving certification. THE BOOT WAS ON HIS FOOT.
He was paid the whole amount within days.
If Doug’s client had not delivered a valid Payment Claim he would not have had the legal right to give notice and stop work. He would have been required to complete the contract before payment.
TRUE STORY: A subbie entered into a contract with liquidated damages of $4,250 per week. There were notice provisions for extensions of time. Delays were caused by the owner, builder and other trades. The subbie did not comply with the notice provisions or insist on signed variations before doing extra work. He wanted to claim $220,000 for unapproved variations.
Doug spoke to the builder who advised that if the subbie wanted to claim for variations the builder would claim liquidated damages. Had he complied with notice provisions and had variations signed he would have been OK, but he didn’t.
Tragic result: insolvency; excluded individual and loss of licence.
Lesson: Comply with notice provisions and if variations are not signed do not do the work.
TRUE STORY: A subbie contacted Doug. He was desperate. He was owed $184,000. Promises had been made and not kept. Communications had broken down. The subbie needed a payment by 5pm on Friday to meet his commitments.
Doug discovered the facts. He spoke to the debtor to understand his position. They both developed a respectful relationship. He promised a $100,000 cheque.Doug’s client was frantic, he needed clear funds. More firm but respectful discussions.
Funds were electronically transferred before 5pm and balance paid within 3 weeks.
Lesson: If the client had asserted his legal rights, either proceedings or adjudication, it is likely it would have been weeks, possibly months, before he was paid.
TRUE STORY: A builder owed a subbie $20,000. He would not return the subbies calls. Doug’s client was adamant all he wanted to do was sue the builder.
Doug tracked the builder down. He was avoiding the subbie because he was embarrassed. He could not pay due to cash flow problems. He would pay in a couple of months when a project came to completion. The builder agreed to sign a Deed of Acknowledgement of Debt with a payment plan.
Three months later the debt was paid in full plus interest.
TRUE STORY: A builder had not responded to letter of demand. He had every reason not to pay. The wrong size cable had been used. The builder had tried to contact the electrician. Calls had not been returned. The demand arrived. Anger. Upset. No way was the builder going to pay. A good relationship had gone bad.
One phone call and all this was discovered. All could have been prevented if the electrician had returned calls.
He was more than willing to pay once the work was rectified.